President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda wants to keep the environment safe. He said this during Uganda’s 61st Independence Anniversary speech. He talked about how important it is to protect places like wetlands, forests, rivers, lakes, and water towers. These places give us things like air, water, and food, so we must take care of them.
Museveni said, “You need air in 3 minutes, water in 3 days, and food in 8 days. These environmental places make sure we have enough rain and water.”
He also said that as long as we have enough rain and water, we will always have enough food and water to drink.
To help with wetland problems in some areas like Bukedi-Busoga and Kigezi, Museveni has a plan. He wants to help people who grow rice in wetlands move to places where they can grow rice with irrigation or do fish farming near wetlands. This will help wetlands become healthy again.
In certain areas like Busoga, Bukedi, and Kigezi, Museveni told farmers to leave because they shouldn’t be there. He said people who live within 100 meters of lakes and rivers must leave, except for factories already built there. Museveni wants to protect rivers like Rwizi, Mpanga, Mayanja, Kafu, Lugogo, Manaafwa, Aswa, Agago, Mpologoma, Mubuku, and their wetlands from people who don’t know better. Even factories that were given permission but haven’t started building yet should get new land.
Only houses and hotels that follow the rules for protecting the environment will be allowed near rivers and lakes. Buildings in wetlands will have to be taken down.
Museveni said it’s very important to protect Uganda’s water sources. Uganda gets less water from its water places than nearby countries. We need to take care of our water sources so we can show other countries how to do it too.
Wetlands are important because they help stop flooding, keep soil from washing away, control water, and support many kinds of wildlife. They also give us food, medicine, fish, and places to visit. But they are disappearing because people are building houses and farms in wetlands.
Between 1994 and 2008, wetlands in Uganda got 30% smaller. Museveni wants to make a new rule to stop wetlands from being destroyed. He also talked about other things that are important for Uganda, like stopping corruption, working with other countries, building roads and buildings, helping businesses, and doing politics for Uganda, not for other countries.
The Independence Day celebration happened at the Kitgum District Farm Institute-DFI grounds in Kitgum Municipality. The theme was “Sustaining a united and progressive nation: Taking charge of our future as a free nation.” Forty-two special guests got medals for helping Uganda and making it better.